cover image Unchained and Unhinged

Unchained and Unhinged

Joe R. Lansdale, . . Subterranean, $40 (144pp) ISBN 978-1-59606-225-2

Horror Grand Master Lansdale (Sanctified and Chicken-Fried ) serves up a mishmash of essays and short fiction in his usual unapologetically cheerful style. “Just Do It” and “Typewriter Mystique, the Bull of It” offer advice to new writers, while four other essays explore the work of classic fantasy and science fiction authors. The short fiction ranges far and wide, from bleakly obsessive “Coat,” wherein a fashion faux pas leads to murder, to the silly “Jack's Pecker,” about a prodigal penis gamboling across Europe. From the arch and nasty epicurean fantasy of “Dragon Chili: From the Grand Church Cookbook” to the unrelenting darkness of “Surveillance” and “Rainy Weather,” Lansdale's stories are deliberate and ironic, invested with inevitability. A must for Lansdale completists, this short collection is also a nice introduction to this unique author's work. (Nov.)